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#12604315 Aug 07, 2016 at 12:42 AM · Edited 6 years ago
90 Posts
Roy stood in the entryway to Westbrook Garrison, staring out at the road as he stood guard. He hadn’t changed his stance in hours but for the smallest of shifts, thankful that the rain had ceased for that day unlike the first two. Sweat occasionally ran down into his eyes to which he simply blinked a few times, never breaking his stance. He had started what he had worked for, he wouldn’t break now due to some sweat and discomfort.

It was the end of the last day of this, nearing the end of his first Rite for the Ducal Guard, the Rite of Endurance. His legs burned from standing there for hours on end but for the short breaks allotted to him for rest and eating. Not speaking to anyone but for short answers when he was asked questions had taken an unexpected toll on him. The physical aspect of it was nothing he couldn’t handle, but he hadn’t expected it to be so difficult not to join in on conversations that passed by him like he normally would.

Sergeant Edrington Grunwald, a man he respected very highly was leaving right at the end of this Rite. Edrington had spoken with him before others showed up to wish him farewell, though in the bittersweet time he could not respond. People were gathered shortly after to wish him well and say their goodbyes, though perhaps not forever as he himself stated. They spoke of gifts and respect, and to top it off had a large group hug next to him. He wanted to join in and show his respects, but he could not.

Markus and Caiterina looked to be getting married and he couldn’t congratulate them or say anything at all due to his orders, ask questions, help plan if he could. Further, Caiterina had asked him to walk her down the aisle to which he could not respond but of course would say yes. She knew full well of this limitation, asking at that moment to tell him to think on it but still it weighed on his mind unexpectedly due to his want to respond then and there.

The Regiment gathered in formations and went out on missions in front of his post, but again due to this Rite he could not go. He wanted to be there to aid his comrades but for now his orders dictated he had to stay there, to show his endurance and patience. What was required of the Guard was to follow orders unconditionally.

However, this had been an unexpected boon as well. He typically would join in on every conversation that sprung up around him but due to the orders he was following he could not. He was forced simply to listen to those who gathered outside the Garrison. He did not hear much that was out of the ordinary, but it struck him that he did not truly listen sometimes.

Caiterina had commented behind him on the first day on the ease of the first Rite, which perhaps was true to some extent. The difference in Roy’s mind was in what he saw as the principal of the Rite. Endurance was the name of the Rite. If he was to be one of the elite defenders he needed to be able to stand long after common men had fallen to exhaustion. He needed to have the mental fortitude to stand in one place, and not give an inch no matter the conditions.

Regardless, Roy stood there silently in the stance he’d been told to keep for the 72 hours, in the exact place he’d been placed in three days prior. He had gone through the six Tenets of the Ducal Guard a thousand times, searching his own thoughts as he stood there, reminding himself what he was doing, and why he was doing it. He wanted to be the best of the best, so naturally standing guard in one position for three days wouldn’t stop him.

He needed to steel himself like Sir Laldere had told him in Stranglethorn. That would take on many meanings Roy felt, and had already, but for that moment it meant having the discipline to maintain his stance and guard while so much happened around him.

Roy took a deep breath, his leg shaking lightly from fatigue as the burning increased. He closed his eyes for but a moment, forcing his leg to stop. He opened his eyes to continue his vigil, his resolve to see the task through keeping him from flagging. People talked around him though at this point he blocked them out to keep himself focused on his task.

He repeated to himself in his mind: “Absolute Loyalty to Kingdom, Liege, and Guard. Lead With Distinction, Follow Without Condition. Responsibility For Self And Team. Never Hesitate, Never Quit. Know The Enemy. Master The Trade.” before going through each in detail. Roy figured each one of these Rites and Trials he would face could relate to the Tenets in their own way. Thus he’d spent much time running through them in his mind.

The bells started tolling to signal the top of the hour. He remembered what Corporal Stonewall had told him, “At eight bells in the evening on the night of the sixth, you will be relieved.” The bell tolled once, twice, three times, up to the seventh and stopped. Not long after Edrington made his departure.

Roy noted the time in his mind with a slight hint of anxiety hitting him. He felt excitement at nearing the Rite’s completion though he found himself running through the last three days as the mood dampened around him due to the Sergeant’s departure.

Roy could only hope he had done everything to the letter, as he’d been instructed and hadn’t let fatigue get the better of his mind to cause him to slip. However, for that moment he pushed such thoughts away to maintain his guard. Soon enough he would be relieved of his duty, and with it he’d complete the Rite of Endurance.
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